Barbara Field, FAIA was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, attended Druid Hills High School and the University of Miami in Florida. She studied architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology and was the first woman to receive a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Georgia Tech in December 1965.

She has practiced architecture in the offices of John Portman in Atlanta, Georgia, John M. Johansen in New Canaan, Connecticut and Benjamin Thompson and Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Between 1980 and 2005 she worked with SPACEPLAN Architects in Asheville, North Carolina where she was Director of Design. She opened her own architectural firm in early 2006. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects and was elevated to Fellowship in 2004. In 2003 the Governor appointed Barbara to the North Carolina Board of Architecture and where she served as president from 2010 to 2012.

In the fall of 1991, Ms. Field ran for, and won, a seat on the Asheville City Council. She served on the Council for ten years and during her third term she was elected Vice Mayor of the city.

She is married to Christopher K. Johansen. Together they have three grown children and five grandchildren. Along with six others, they own Earth Guild; a national craft supply center selling the tools, materials and books for traditional and contemporary crafts. In 1990 they bought the 1936 Art Deco Bon Marché building in downtown Asheville and renovated it for Earth Guild, for retail and office rental and for the North Carolina Stage Company Theatre. They live on the top floor.